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Impact of tillage and residues from rotation crops on the nematode community in soil and surface mulch during the following sugarcane crop.

Stirling, G.R., Halpin, N.V., Bell, M.J. and Woody, P.W. (2011) Impact of tillage and residues from rotation crops on the nematode community in soil and surface mulch during the following sugarcane crop. International Sugar Journal, 113 (1345). pp. 56-64.


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The impact of three cropping histories (sugarcane, maize and soybean) and two tillage practices (conventional tillage and direct drill) on plant-parasitic and free-living nematodes in the following sugarcane crop was examined in a field trial at Bundaberg. Soybean reduced populations of lesion nematode (Pratylenchus zeae) and root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne javanica) in comparison to previous crops of sugarcane or maize but increased populations of spiral nematode (Helicotylenchus dihystera) and maintained populations of dagger nematode (Xiphinema elongatum). However the effect of soybean on P zeae and M. javanica was no longer apparent 15 weeks after planting sugarcane, while later in the season, populations of these nematodes following soybean were as high as or higher than maize or sugarcane. Populations of P zeae were initially reduced by cultivation but due to strong resurgence tended to be higher in conventionally tilled than direct drill plots at the end of the plant crop. Even greater tillage effects were observed with M. javanica and X. elongatum, as nematode populations were significantly higher in conventionally tilled than direct drill plots late in the season. Populations of free-living nematodes in the upper 10 cm of soil were initially highest following soybean, but after 15, 35 and 59 weeks were lower than after sugarcane and contained fewer omnivorous and predatory nematodes. Conventional tillage increased populations of free-living nematodes in soil in comparison to direct drill and was also detrimental to omnivorous and predatory nematodes. These results suggest that crop rotation and tillage not only affect plant-parasitic nematodes directly, but also have indirect effects by impacting on natural enemies that regulate nematode populations. More than 2 million nematodes/m(2) were often present in crop residues on the surface of direct drill plots. Bacterial-feeding nematodes were predominant in residues early in the decomposition process but fungal-feeding nematodes predominated after 15 weeks. This indicates that fungi become an increasingly important component of the detritus food web as decomposition proceeds, and that that the rate of nutrient cycling decreases with time. Correlations between total numbers of free-living nematodes and mineral N concentrations in crop residues and surface soil suggested that the free-living nematode community may provide an indication of the rate of mineralisation of N from organic matter.

Item Type:Article
Corporate Creators:Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI), Agri-Science, Crop and Food Science
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:© Informa UK Limited.
Keywords:Crop rotation; free-living nematodes; plant-parasitic; green cane trash blanket (GCTB); Meloidogyne; minimum tillage; N Mineralisation; Pratylenchus; sugarcane; suppressive soils; Xiphinema; nitrogen; mineralization; feeding nematodes; organic-matter; food-web; growth; fungi; yield; Queensland; Australia.
Subjects:Plant pests and diseases > Pest control and treatment of diseases. Plant protection
Plant pests and diseases
Live Archive:23 May 2011 03:20
Last Modified:20 Feb 2024 00:34

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